Helping those who are helping others

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We’re constantly blown away by the creativity and energy that makers around the world pour into making things, especially if they are involved with our friends from e-NABLE. One such story is of Marc Petrykowski and his lab assistant Adam Carson from Creighton University in America.

Through the supportive work from e-NABLE, a global network of passionate volunteers using Ultimakers to give the world a ‘helping hand’, Marc and Adam are designing and printing hand devices for children in their local area for free.

e-NABLE arm 1
Adam Carson and Marc Petrykowski

We heard about their wonderful story some time ago and their use of an Ultimaker 2, which gave them the reliability and precision they needed. Marc designs prototypes for hand devices that flexed from the elbow, opening up these amazing devices to an even wider audience. To do this they needed to have a bigger build volume, allowing them to print larger pieces rather than having to separate each print into smaller pieces. This allows them to print faster, no post processing and maintaining strength. As soon as the Ultimaker 2 Extended came out Marc got to use every amazing inch of its large buildvolume.  This gave them the freedom and quality they needed.

With these incredible elbow to hand devices, children can simply flex their elbow joint and they’re able to clasp their 3D printed fingers together. When they relax the elbow, the fingers let go – this not only strengthens the arm muscles which would deteriorate if they weren’t used, but naturally strengthens their self-esteem too. It’s amazing to think of the difference this makes to a child’s life. And remember, this is all done for free.

e-NABLE arm
e-NABLE arm
The arm prototypes

Marc and Adam are keen to make their devices not just functional but fun, making these children the envy of their schoolmates. As you can see from the video, they come in a variety of cool colors. The full elbow device Marc and Adam are developing joins a world of regular e-nable hand devices that personify what 3D printing has to offer to society. Empowerment, independency, flexibility and the freedom to explore and develop ideas.


As they continue their research and push for new innovations, we’re sure both Marc and Adam will be changing the lives of many many more children to come. Keep up the amazing work guys!

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